Cantwell Applauds New Flight Attendant Safety Rest Requirement

October 4, 2022

Cantwell promised change and fought for new regulation in previous FAA Reauthorization 


Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, applauded the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) new rule that gives airline flight attendants 10 hours of consecutive rest time between shifts, guaranteeing flight attendants now have the same rest time as pilots.

“Flight attendants perform critical safety roles on behalf of the flying public and have long deserved the same rest periods afforded to pilots. Thank you to the flight attendant workforce for their leadership and sustained advocacy on this important safety reform,” said Sen. Cantwell.

“That overwhelming bipartisan vote that came on the heels of an incredible championing by Chairman Peter DeFazio, by Chair Maria Cantwell in Commerce, Chair Rick Larsen of the Aviation Subcommittee, Chair Frank LoBiondo also of the Aviation Subcommittee – a real bipartisan effort supporting the advocacy of flight attendants and supporting the science that had determined this was a safety risk and loophole that we had to close,” said Sara Nelson, President of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, during today’s press conference.

Senator Cantwell has long supported increasing flight attendant duty rest periods. In September 2016, Sen. Cantwell argued for this change and co-sponsored legislation aimed to prevent flight attendant fatigue by guaranteeing 10-hour rest periods.

During a May 2017 Commerce Aviation Subcommittee hearing, Cantwell promised to include the 10-hour rest rule in the 2018 FAA Reauthorization: “I was also there last year when we put an FAA bill together and we didn’t give flight attendants the same rest time as pilots. We should correct that this time and make sure that there is even parity," said Sen. Cantwell, then Ranking Member of the Commerce Aviation Subcommittee, to Sara Nelson, President of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA.

Congress approved the change in 2018 after Sen. Cantwell fought for this rule’s inclusion in the 2018 FAA Reauthorization Bill, which passed the Senate 93-6.